Hard to believe but summer is already winding down to a close, with lots of kids heading back to school next week. To ease you back into the daily grind, I’m sharing one of my easiest and fastest meals, Thai Chicken Fried Rice. It makes read more
One of my favorite things to do is to take a classic dish and add an unexpected twist. This Spicy Guacamole is an especially fun one. It looks like the regular dip we all love, but one bite and you know this is no ordinary guac. My Asian twist is a little spicy with from fresh Thai chilis, zesty with the scallions and cilantro, and lime juice adds citrusy pop. But it’s the dollop of fish sauce that adds a surprising blast of umami. It’s just as easy and fast to make as regular guacamole, but it’s so much more exciting, so let’s get into it.
Making Spicy Guacamole
Great guac starts with great avocados. We are in the middle of our avocado season here in Florida, and I have access to really great ones from my friends at LNB Grovestand. I love how many different varieties they grow. Usually the season starts in July and if we’re lucky and there’s a long season, we’ll still have them in January.
Although Florida avocados have a bad rep for being watery and less dense than Haas avocados, I would say that not all Florida avocados are the same; some of them are just as creamy and rich as the Haas varietal. At the same time, I would encourage you to embrace the good with the bad. Sure some of them are watery, but they also have a sweet vegetal flavor that’s just as enjoyable in its own way. Plus they’re much fresher than imported avocados, offer great value, and have not been affected by the scorching heat waves in Mexico. Pick up some Florida avocados people 😉
Florida avocados are huge, so if you have access to them you’ll only need one. If using the Hass varietal, you’ll need 2-3 depending on the size. Pick avocados that are heavy and firm, ripening them on your kitchen counter for a couple days. If you buy already soft avocados from the grocery store, you run the risk that some will be overly ripe and brown inside.
Now I just mix it really well and season to taste with salt and pepper. This takes less salt normally than traditional guacamole because the fish sauce is salty, plus I factor in the salt level of the chips I will be serving with it.
This spicy guacamole LOVES being served with my Yuzu Margaritas or as a starter for these Smoked Wings! Let us know in the comments what you serve it with, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations.
- 1 Florida avocado or 2 large haas avocados
- 3 scallions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large or 1 ½ small lime
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 or 2 fresh thai bird chiles, minced (optional)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and halve the avocado. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and place in a medium bowl. Discard the seed and skin.
- Mash the avocado coarsely with a potato masher or a fork.
- Cut the lime in half and juice it over the avocados.
- Trim the scallions and chop fine. Add it to the bowl along with the minced garlic, fish sauce, thai bird chiles, cilantro, and ground black pepper.
- Combine with a fork and then taste. Adjust with a little salt or ground pepper as needed.
- Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the guacamole. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve spicy guacamole with tortilla chips, rice crackers, or shrimp chips.
Keywords: avocado, guacamole, spicy, appetizers, party food, pan asian
Everyone needs a couple of quick and tasty tofu recipes in their repertoire, and Sriracha Tofu is a great one to have. I always have a block of tofu in the fridge and the sauce ingredients in my pantry. Tofu is economical, packed with protein, and can be easily supercharged with flavor. My Sriracha Tofu is nice and crispy, and it has an irresistibly sweet and spicy sauce. It’s also very fast and easy, making it an ideal recipe to serve as part of a plant based feast, or to serve with other dishes and rice as a complete meal.
Our house always has multiple meal times throughout the day. Between work, school hours, and different activities, we all need some meals that are tasty and quick. I like to have a bunch of different things in the fridge, ready to grab and go. This Sriracha tofu is perfect for that because it tastes great hot, at room temperature, or even cold. The sweet and spicy flavor always hits the spot. Let me walk you through how easy this crave worthy tofu is to prepare.
It Starts With Sauce
The sauce for Sriracha Tofu is absolutely addictive. And so easy! Just mix toasted sesame oil for nutty richness, soy sauce for tangy depth, sriracha for smoky heat, and mirin and honey which provide a touch of sweetness. (You can sub agave for the honey if you want it to be vegan) Just mix it all together and set aside. If you really want to level up, use my Homemade Sriracha!
To keep this simple, I only add onion, garlic, and scallions to my Sriracha Tofu. They add flavor, body, and a little color to the dish.
When people claim to not like tofu, they usually say it’s a “textural thing”. That is easily remedied though. For this recipe I start with medium firm tofu, which already isn’t mushy like soft or silken tofu is. When medium firm tofu is pan fried, it gets a delightfully crispy exterior, with a pleasantly chewy interior. You could also substitute firm tofu if you prefer.
The first trick to getting the tofu to fry up to a nice golden brown is to eliminate some water so it doesn’t steam in the pan. I press the tofu between sheets of paper towels to eliminate any extra water but you could also use kitchen or hand towels too. Use a little pressure but not so much that you squash the pieces of tofu. This process will allow the tofu to crisp up in the heat and reduce splattering when the tofu hits the oil in the pan.
The second trick to getting tofu crispy is to use enough heat and leave it alone. You need the heat to build up around the tofu to create a nice crunchy crust. Moving it around constantly will hinder that, so keep your hands to yourself and let the pan do the work 🙂 Cook one side for 2-3 minutes and then check one piece to make sure it’s ready. When it has a nice golden color, flip the tofu carefully to the other side and do the waiting game again for a couple of minutes before removing it from the pan.
Once you remove the tofu, you should still have some oil left in the pan to sauté the onions. But if your pan looks a little dry, then add another tablespoon of oil before continuing.
The sauce will thicken a bit as you let it simmer and then it’s time to add the scallions, toss, and serve!
Sriracha Tofu is amazing as part of a meatless spread alongside Crispy Shiitake and Braised Burdock. Or just serve with Coconut Rice for a complete meal. Try it tonight and take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe; we love hearing from you! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 2 teaspoons honey*
- 4 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 package medium firm tofu
- ½ large onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4–5 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 scallions
- Stir the soy sauce, mirin, honey, sriracha, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Peel and trim the onion and then finely dice. Set aside.
- Trim the scallions and slice finely on an angle. Set aside.
- Open the package of tofu and drain it. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and then across the tofu 8 times to create 16 equal squares. Place 4 sheets of paper towels (double layered) on a plate and place the tofu on the paper. Place another couple sheets of paper on top of the tofu. Press down gently on the paper towels to eliminate moisture from the tofu. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the surface with oil.
- Gently place the tofu in the pan in one even layer. Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Flip the tofu carefully (it should be a nice, crisp golden brown) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Take the tofu out of the pan with a pair of tongs or chopsticks and set it aside in a bowl. Put the pan back on the stove without washing it out and heat it for a couple minutes over medium high heat.
- If the pan looks dry, add 1 Tablespoon of neutral oil and then add the onions to the pan and stir fry for 3-5 minutes, moving the onion around regularly, until it has softened and started to lightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and add the fried tofu. Stir the tofu into the sauce to coat the pieces and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has reduced.
- Add the scallions to the pan and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
*to make this vegan, sub an equal amount of agave syrup for the honey
Keywords: asian vegan, tofu, sweet and spicy, sriracha, plant based